Disclaimer: I love the Winchesters but I do not own them! Bummer. Eric Kripke is the mastermind and owner.

A.N: This is my first S3 SPN fanfic! Yay! Just a little something-something I came up with. I hope it's halfway descent. I don't think it's as indepth as my other stories. More a long one-shot idea.

This takes place between S2 and S3, but it deals with the aftermath of Sam knowing about Dean's deal hence I'm counting this as a S3 fanfic. The timeline isn't accurate, since S3 takes place five days after S2, but if you push the S3: The Magnificent Seven down the road a little, it can line up. But if it bothers you that much, you can take it as AU, though it wraps up in S03E01 by the time this is done.

Hope you enjoy!

Summary: Takes place shortly before S3 and after S2. Sam has been watching Dean as closely as a hawk does. Can Dean let him know that he is not going anywhere anytime soon?


He's been staring at me ever since that day. It's been a week since my younger brother found out about my deal, not that I wanted him too even though I knew that he would eventually. But I swear, he has not taken his eyes off of me since that day. He doesn't think I know (I don't think, either that or he knows and could care less), but he even eyes me when I'm sleep, which sometimes I'm really not. The first two nights it took me awhile to get to sleep because of Sam's staring though eventually I managed.

But you cannot tell me that when I wake up he's been sleeping because he's practically staring right into my eyes every morning. Sometimes he quickly closes his eyes or adverts his gaze and other times he doesn't even care to let me know he staring at me.

We haven't really found another case, just drifting. Plus I'm not certain that Sam would even be paying attention to the hunt, because he'd be too busy watching me like a hawk.

Even a hawk doesn't eye things as closely as he eyed me.

I guess I'm getting used to it, though give me another week and it'll be working my nerves.

Maybe.

On second thought….it's working my nerves now.

Dean had to concentrated harder than usual as he drove down the back road that evening. His eyes constantly wanted to dart to Sam every four seconds. He did allow his eyes to dart every ten or so minutes that passed. The rock music that was blaring did nothing to help him try to concentrate. As it was, he was barely listening to the music. He felt Sam watching him out the corner of his eye, even though Sam tried hard to pretend that he was looking ahead.

"Sooooo…" Dean finally drawled as he turned down the music.

Sam didn't say anything, but this time he looked at Dean as if expecting him to say something more.

Dean cleared his throat, "Um…..getting hungry?"

Sam shook his head, "Not really."

"Okay then, we can continue on…."

"Yeah."

Dean started to whistle to the tune of the music. He tapped his thumb on the steering wheel. Sam didn't turn away as he continued to stare at his older brother. Dean bit his lip lightly, his eyes darting to his brother but he didn't say anything about the unusual behavior.

He knew that Sam was upset about Dean's deal that was going to be due in year. Aside from the conversation at the graveyard they didn't talk about it. Dean knew that Sam wanted to talk about it, but he didn't want to.

What was done was done.

No sense in rehashing it.

And besides, Dean would always have chosen this path if presented with the same situation again.

So there was really no argument or anything to be had.

Dean almost cracked at Sam's big puppy eyes. He had constantly in the last week seen Sam have this far-off look that scared him more than his watching. But it never lasted that long, at least when Dean snapped Sam out of it.

He figured he rather have hawk eye Sam than zombie Sam, the only two beings that Sam seemed to flip through nowadays. It seemed a long time ago since Dean had heard Sam give an actual laugh. Sure he cracked a small smile, forced a laugh and rolled his eyes at Dean's attempted jokes but he it wasn't real.

And they both knew it.

Bobby had offered them his house to recoup. Let them get their baggage together and assimilate everything that had happened. Dean turned it down not wanting to waste time sitting around thinking about it. And if he let him that is exactly what Sam would do. Even if they weren't hunting at least they were moving.

Dean noticed the heat disappearing from his person and glanced over at Sam to see him looking out the window. He could see that 'zombie-sad-puppy-doe-eyed' persona coming back again. Dean gave a grin and knocked Sam's arm, making him look back at him.

"You know I could go for something. How about it? We'll stop at a hotel early, go and get some dinner and just chill, how about it?"

Sam just gave a small smile, "Okay. If that's what you want to do."

Dean just gave a nod and his grin widen, "Yeah, that is what I want to do. Come on, help me find a motel."


"Why don't you eat something other than salad….again?" Dean asked as they were served their food at the diner they were at.

They had found a rather reasonable motel, got a room and put their stuff inside before heading back out to find a diner. Sam didn't say too much of anything and Dean could see that zombie-ness coming back on again. He had to get Sam out of this funk, because every time he went there, the harder it was becoming for Dean to get Sam to come back from that.

A part of Dean realized that there would probably be a melt-down in the future.

Okay, there was going to be one, but another part wanted to delay that.

He just wasn't ready for it right now.

Sam looked up from his salad and Dean cringed once. He saw that 'something-kicked me-doe-eyed-give me a hug', look. He cleared his throat taking another bite of his burger.

Sam answered, "Salad all the time is healthier than eating burgers all the time." He intoned as if he was reading a script.

"Yeah, but surely a burger every once in awhile won't kill you?" Dean asked with a grin.

"Would a salad every once in awhile kill you?" Sam replied in the same monotone voice.

Even in this state, Sam managed to shut his older brother up as he took another bit of his food. Sam returned to his, picking at his food for a little bit before eating another small bite and repeating the process.

Needless to say, it was taking Sam twice as long to eat.

Dean watched Sam covertly. He was ready to start the melt-down if it got Sam out of this mood any faster. But selfishly, he just didn't want to deal with what would most likely be the biggest meltdown of their history of Chick-flick Meltdowns.

But hadn't he been selfish enough? He should at least let Sam rant and rave and get it out of his system so they could move on from this. Dean would make sure that Sam would be alright when he left.

Sam would be alright when he left.

Dean wouldn't have it any other way.

Dinner passed by rather slowly each lost in their own thoughts.

Sam could barely get down bite after bite. It all turned to sawdust in his mouth. He didn't even taste what was going down. He could be eating paper and he wouldn't know it.

He gave sigh as he worked on chewing. Surprisingly, his mind was pretty blank. Had been since that day in the graveyard. He was having a hard time wrapping around everything that had happened. It was too much to think about so he sort of shut it all out. He knew that was worrying Dean when he continued to watch him, but he couldn't help it. He just felt a little better when his eyes were on Dean. Subconsciously, he looked up and watched Dean absently as he continued to eat. He noticed Dean glance at him.

"Something on my face?" he asked with a small crack of a smile though both knew that was just a joke to break some of the tension.

"Yeah", Sam let out a small smile.

"What?" Dean's hand flew up to wipe at his face.

"Ugly."

Dean made a face at him, "Ha-ha….don't you mean beauty? I mean come on, what chick doesn't want all this?"

Sam couldn't help the small laugh at this, "You can't ask me."

Dean grinned enjoying the familiar banter, "Yes, I can Samantha."

It was Sam's turn to make a face, "Shut up….Deanna."

Dean glowered at him, "Eat your lettuce."

"Yes, ma'am."

Dean couldn't help but kick Sam under the table, making Sam return the favor.


"Ah, home sweet home!" Dean cried as he opened the door to their motel and stepped inside, Sam trailing right on his heels. Dean made a bee-line for the bed and flopped down as Sam slowly closed the door behind him.

"Today is your lucky day, Sam!" cried Dean as he took off his boots and jacket.

"How so?" Sam asked softly glancing at Dean as he walked to his own bed and sat down, looking at Dean.

"You, my friend, get the shower first! Congrats! Means you can do your girly soaking", Dean waved his hand dramatically.

A smile twitched at Sam's mouth, "Thanks but no thanks. You can go first."

Dean frowned as he looked at Sam, "No arguments, Sam."

"Then go first and there won't be any", Sam countered.

Dean's frown deepened as his eyes narrowed, "Sam….." he drawled.

And there is was. Sam gave Dean that puppy-dog look and Dean couldn't help but cave. "Fine", he mumbled before standing up and gathering his change of clothes.

Sam sighed and Dean felt him watching his every move including walking into the bathroom and closing the door. Dean sighed as he turned on the shower.

When Dean was done, he felt refreshed as he opened the door letting out a trail of smoke. He was unsurprised to see Sam sitting next to the door, knees drawn up. He still hadn't changed out of his jacket or boots. Dean gazed down at him a long while. He remembered the first night after he came out of the bathroom. Sam near gave Dean a heart attack when he opened the door to come face to face with his little brother. He near whacked Sam upside the head for such a thing.

From then on, Sam had made it a habit to park himself on the floor next to the door instead.

Dean leaned in the doorway, "Sam….." he murmured.

Sam looked up seeming surprised that Dean was there, "You done already?"

"Yeah, it's been about ten minutes."

"Fancy that."

Dean raised an eyebrow, "Shower getting cold."

Sam nodded absently before standing up and getting ready himself. Dean watched him disappear into the bathroom with a soft click. He let out a ragged sigh and sprawled on his bed looking up at the ceiling. They really needed to talk. This was getting out of hand.

It didn't seem fast enough for Dean when he finally heard the click of the door opening. He sat up and gave Sam a smile who automatically, as he always did checked to see where Dean was. Sam gave a small smile before heading over to the laptop and starting it up.

Dean glanced away at the TV before reaching for the remote and toying with it. He could feel the heat of Sam's stare. He cleared his throat, "Um….hm."

"Hm, what?" Sam asked.

"You okay?" Dean finally blurted out looking up. That was a stupid question, Dean knew but at least it was a starting point.

Sam seemed surprised at this, "I'm good, why do you ask?"

"Well…um…..for the past week you've been….watching me? Why?" Dean asked trying to tread cautiously.

"What?" Sam laughed disbelieving, "Sorry. I'll stop." He stated burying his head in his laptop.

"Sam."

Said male looked up.

"Come on, Sam, don't play dumb. We both know you've been watching me like a hawk."

Sam shifted in his seat, "Nothing." He murmured before returning to his laptop. He heard a rustle and then his laptop was closed shut. "Hey!" he cried looking up at Dean who looked at him seriously, "What the heck, man?"

Dean said, "Look, we should just get this out on the table and be done with it."

Sam sat back in his seat and folded his arms, "What?"

Dean sighed, "I know I was adamant about not discussing it, but I think we need to. My deal."

"What deal? I'm going to get you out of it. Don't worry." Sam tried to take his laptop back but Dean wasn't having it and took it out of his reach.

"Be careful with that!" warned Sam.

"Yeah, yeah", Dean dismissed laying the laptop on the night table before sitting across from Sam, "You aren't going to do anything. Do you understand that?"

Sam didn't say anything.

"Sam!" Dean snapped.

"Yea?"

"Did you hear me?"

"I heard you."

"Then you understand."

"Sure I understand."

Dean twitched, "But it's going in one ear and out then other, isn't it?"

Sam just stared at Dean.

Dean sighed, "Look man…..I….."

Sam interrupted, "You said you didn't want to talk about it. I don't want to talk about it. There's nothing to talk about."

"Sam….you've been watching me like a hawk. Like I'm going to disappear if you don't keep all eyes and ears on me. Preferably eyes and dude I know I look good, but even the chicks don't eye me like you do." Dean's mouth twitched at his joke.

Sam's didn't as he stood up making Dean followed suit asking, "Where are you going?"

"What? Do I have to ask permission to get in bed now?" asked Sam moodily, pushing around Dean to get in bed and throw the covers over his head.

"Sam…. Please, can't we talk?" asked Dean after a moment sitting down on the edge of the bed.

"Are you okay?" Sam asked incredulously lowering the covers a little bit.

"Yeah. Are you?"

"Yea! So that takes care of that! We are both okay!" Sam snapped pulling the covers over his head once more effectively ending the conversation.

Dean just sat there a moment longer staring at Sam before he shook his head and proceeded to his own bed. He got in and pulled the covers over his own head. Seems an early night might be a good thing.

The next day was more of the same.

Sam watching, Dean tolerating it and the two of them just moving on throughout the day. It was bothering Dean that Sam didn't seem to want to acknowledge this. But he guessed he didn't help matters with being so against discussing it in the first place. So here they were eating up asphalt with no real destination or plan. Dean knew what Sam was watching him and this time making it known that he was watching him. Sometimes his eyes narrowed and he frowned at Dean almost daring him to do or say something or not to do or say something. Dean couldn't tell. Sometimes though he got that 'kick puppy' look that Dean was sure that Sam had his quota filled of.

Dean glanced around and saw they were passing by a wide open field on one side and trees on another. He gave a small smile before making a last minute decision and pulling over. Sam took the moment to look around, "Why are we stopping?"

Dean just shrugged and took the keys out of the ignition, "Why not? We have nowhere else to be. Why not enjoy the day?" Dean opened the door.

Sam followed suit closing the door behind him, "What are you now? Maria von Trapp? You want to reenact the Sound of Music?"

Dean made a face, "What?"

Sam shook his head as he followed Dean across the field, "Never mind."

"Let's just enjoy this, okay?" Dean suggested gently.

Sam just nodded and made himself look around taking in his surroundings. He couldn't help but continually glance at Dean. His chest began to tighten, not for the first time, but he battled it away. He wouldn't ruin this moment.

"Hey!" Dean cried before promptly dropping down and laying on the ground, folding his hands behind his head.

Sam blinked down at him, "What are you doing?"

"What does it look like? Cloud-watching. I know you liked to do this when we were kids. Maybe we can see what we see in the clouds."

The band around Sam's chest got a little tighter as he breathed, "Ok." He lowered himself down and situated himself, looking at the clouds.

"Oh, there's a werewolf! See it?" Dean asked pointing it out.

"Yeah." Sam's voice was shakily.

Dean glanced at his younger brother but didn't say anything, "I think I see a castle." He said after a moment.

"I see a bunny."

Dean couldn't help but burst out laughing, "Why did you always have to start out searching a bunny the first time?"

Sam shrugged, "I think the cloud formations can be very bunny like so it's not hard to find."

"What the fluffy tail?"

"It's a start."

There was silence and Sam found he couldn't but look Dean who looked a little drowsy. "Sleepy?"

"Naw, it's just this is relaxing."

Sam knew that the reason they hadn't been on a case in awhile was because of him. He knew that Dean wasn't sure he could function on one right now. Truth be told, he knew that he wouldn't be able to function well. Even before he could think about it, his eyes invariably always have to trail back to his older brother to reassure himself that he was still here.

And if he could be honest, he was scared. He was scared of this deal that Dean made. He hated himself for it, but it was far more personal when Dean made the deal than when their dad made the deal.

And isn't that messed up?

Somehow, he could deal with his father and his deal. He knew that Dean had a hard time of it. Dean's deal, he didn't know if he could deal with it. He was scared for the future. He shook himself, he wouldn't go down that road. Didn't he say that he would find a way to save Dean? He meant that. Dean might not want him too, but there were many instances where Sam disregarded what Dean had to say.

This would not be the first time.

And besides, how could he not put in his all to save his brother. Dean had saved him over and over and over again, and now it was time for Sam to repay the favor. He would not fail.

He couldn't fail.

He just couldn't.

Because life without Dean….

"Are you okay?" Dean asked propping himself up on his elbow to look down at Sam.

Sam nodded and looked a little confused, "Yes, why?" his voice as lower that he liked it to be.

It was a moment before Dean answered quietly, "You made a strangling sound."

Sam blinked and his voice cracked, "I did?"

"Yes."

"Oh."

Silence lingered a little longer as Dean stared down at Sam who couldn't help but squirm. "What?" he finally asked unable to take it anymore.

He saw Dean roll whatever was in his mind around as he looked off to the side. A moment later he looked back, "You are going to be okay."

Sam gave a disbelieving laugh. He knew what the conversation had turned to now, "What makes you say that?"

"Cause you are my little brother and I raised you."

Sam sat up and pulled his knees to his chest. Dean just looked at Sam's back, not moving from his position.

"It's not that simple." Sam murmured.

"It is that simple", countered Dean.

"Dean…I don't want to discuss this."

Dean sat up and crossed his legs Indian-style but facing Sam, "Well, I do." His green eyes appraised Sam as he looked at him.

Sam laughed once again, "Says the guy who didn't want to talk about it before."

"I still don't, but I see now, we need to talk about it a little. At least acknowledged it. It's the only way you are going to come to terms with this."

Sam glared at Dean. He couldn't help the mistiness of his eyes, "Come to terms with this?" he whispered before shifting and glaring harder at Dean as he repeated more disbelieving though somewhat forceful, "Come to terms with THIS?" He scoffed before he quickly stood to his feet.

Dean followed suit, stuffing his hands in his pocket as he watch Sam walk a few paces forward, his back to him, before stopping and running a hand through his hair before swinging around to face Dean.

He stamped his foot once, trying to hold back the tears, "Are you high?" he asked.

Dean furrowed his eyebrows. "I'm sober, if that's what you mean."

Sam looked away once before looking back, "Were you high then?"

Dean looked confused. "Wha?"

"Were you high then?"

"Um….noooo…." Dean drawled, unable to figure out where this was going.

Sam nodded lowering his eyes before turning his back to Dean. Silence drifted for quite awhile. Dean was still confused.

"Sam…." He took a step forward, "Sam? Wha…..I don't….." He didn't even know what he wanted to ask.

"You should have been high. You should have been high as a kite." Sam murmured.

"I don't….get it.."

Sam swung around again and glared, "If you were high, you could play up the judgment impaired card."

Dean still wasn't catching on, "Judgment impaired?"

"If you were high as a kite, Dean, when you made that deal, your judgment would have been off. Way off."

Dawning comprehension was slowly working its way through Dean's mind, "Sam…"

"But as it stands, you just walked in fully knowing what you were doing and made that jacked up deal."

"You were dead, Sam." Dean reminded him quietly.

"That is no excuse", snapped Sam folding his arms.

"You cannot ask me to deal with you dead. You cannot. I was always suppose to die before you, that's the way it works."

Sam all but yelled, "Says who?"

"Me!" cried Dean, "I'm the oldest. First here, first out. That's the natural order of things. I never expected to do deal with your death."

"Oh, but you fully expect me to deal with yours." Sam cried before turning and stalking off. Dean kept up and tried to grabbed Sam's arm. Sam kept pulling his arm away, twisting away from Dean's grasp.

"Sam!"

"NO!" Sam cried turning around abruptly, making Dean stumble and take a few steps back to keep from crashing into his brother, "You are selfish, Dean! You are selfish! You are going to make me deal with what you were and are too cowardly to deal with!"

Sam knew he went too far as soon as it was out of his mouth for he found himself on the ground nursing his cheek. Dean stood over him looking down at him, hurt coloring his features. Dean shifted on his feet before turning around once.

Sam held his cheek once as he looked down at the grass. Uncomfortable silence drifted between them.

Sam's mouth opened and closed a couple of times. It took a bit before he could get out, "I'm….I'm sorry, Dean. I didn't…..I didn't mean it that….that way." He sniffed once as he ran a hand over his face.

"I didn't mean to hit you", came the counter apology. Dean turned around and offered his hand to help Sam up. Sam looked at it briefly but didn't grabbed it. "Sam?" Dean slowly sunk down sitting in front of Sam.

"I'm sorry…."Sam sniffed.

"Sam, you are going to get through this. I know you will. It'll be okay. Everything will be okay, I promise you."

"You can't promise that", Sam looked up then to meet Dean's eyes.

"…." Dean had no response to that.

Sam looked away once before looking back and continuing, slowly, "I'm….the one that will have to deal with you….." He paused before continuing, "Remember how you felt with Dad, you gonna make me go through that?" He paused again before speaking, "I'm sorry for the other thing I said, but you are selfish. That was selfish."

"I know." Dean nodded, "I don't dispute that…..but you have to understand, I couldn't deal with you dead. I can't do it."

"And you seem so sure I can."

"You are stronger than me. I mean, you were even able to…" Dean trailed off and realized this was dangerous grounds as he looked down, playing with a playing blade of grass.

"What?" Sam questioned.

Dean shook his head.

"Dean?"

Dean shook his head again.

"Dean." Sam's voice held a warning, "Tell me."

"You were able to go to school for that time" came the belated reply, so soft, that it took Sam a few seconds to process what Dean had said.

"That was different. " Sam hissed fiercely, not able to not get defensive, making Dean look up, "I knew that you were alive somewhere in the world. I knew that you were okay. This is different, Dean. You will be…..and….no matter where I look, how hard I look, I won't be able to find you. Don't you understand that?"

Dean nodded slowly, "Yeah. I know, but dude, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. I have a whole year."

"Actually a year minus a week", Sam corrected quietly.

"Yeah, long time, dude. So why not make the most of it." Here Sam gave a grin.

Sam couldn't return it, "Yea." He rubbed his cheek before turning away and standing up. "Let's go. We should probably find a case. I know you are getting ansty by now."

Dean blinked at the quick turn of the conversation. He stared up at Sam a few moments before he realized he was staring at empty air and Sam had started back to the Impala. Dean scrambled up and caught up with his long legged little brother. He blocked Sam's path and held up his hands, "Sam, listen to me."

"Dean…"

"Please?"

Sam looked at him with a tight expression but didn't say anything, so Dean took a breath and continued, "I'm not going anywhere for a long time."

"It will feel fast to me."

"Let's enjoy this time together, okay? You don't have to watch me in fear I'm going to disappear right now. And I don't feel comfortable going on a case with you the way you are right now. I mean, look how long it took after Dad died for us to go on a legitimate case. There is no rush. Let's hang out for awhile, you know?"

"And do what?"

Dean said the first thing that came to mind, "Bowling."

Sam couldn't help the laugh that came out of him. It boiled over and he was laughing hysterically before it slowly became sobs. His hands flew up to his face. When he came too, he found two arms around him, and soothing words working its way into his ear. He calmed greatly at this though he occasionally sniffed and soon his own arms were wrapped around his older brother.

"It'll be okay, Sam. It will, you will see", Dean reassured.

It took a moment before Sam slowly let Dean go allowing Dean to take a step back. Sam wiped his face and slowly nodded. "So….bowling?"

Dean gave a grin, "Yeah, why not?"

"You're kidding?"

"Nope!"

"What made you think of that of all things?"

Dean shrugged.

Sam looked at him a moment longer, "Fine then…..bowling, then."

"Great!" cried Dean hitting Sam's arm before taking a few steps toward the Impala. He only got in a few steps before he realized that Sam wasn't in line with him and stopped and looked over his shoulder.

He found Sam watching him closely. Dean gave a large grin. It seemed to unstuck Sam as he smiled lightly and nodded as he caught up with Dean in a two strides and they walked back to the Impala.

Dean stopped suddenly, making Sam stop and eye him quizzically, "What?"

Dean held up a hand and turned around looking at the field, "You know what?"

"What?"

"I think, we do need to reenact the Sound of Music." Dean stated calmly making Sam almost fall over and almost had to reach out to the Impala to help steady him.

"WHAT!" cried Sam, then sputtered, "But..but...but….you don't even know what the Sound of Music is….." then he narrowed his eyes, "….Do you?"

Dean gave a grin, "I'm not as stupid as you think I am."

"Uh, yes you are", Sam quipped then he saw his older brother blushed making Sam raised his eyebrow.

"Does it go something like this?" Dean ran off and spun around in a circle with his arms out. He turned and stared at Sam who was staring at him in disbelief.

Even Sam could see from where he stood, the burning red that seemed to permanent Dean's cheeks from this distance. He managed to move when Dean plopped down on the ground and laid back to observe the clouds. Sam stood over Dean.

"You are blocking the light, Satsquash" Dean quipped but didn't look at Sam.

"Do you know the song, she is singing?" Sam asked settling down next to Dean.

Dean glared at him, "Don't push it."

He was rewarded with a loud guffaw, "I can't believe you did that!"

"You tell anyone, and I will kill you." Threatened Dean.

Sam gave a grin, the first true one in awhile and suddenly Dean was glad he embarrassed himself so, "Wouldn't dream of it."

Dean turned back to the sky, "Good, now settle down. The movie up there is pretty good."

Sam surveyed Dean a moment longer before laying down. He moved and positioned himself where his head was level with Dean's almost touching.

Comfortable silence reigned.

Whatever the future brought, nothing would mar this moment.

TBC….


A.N: There is a 2nd part to this. So please stay tune!

Two words:

Bowling and Bets.